To an extent, the sight of pregnant women and babies on screen and in your neighborhood could even Intensify your cravings to become pregnant (usually as a married person). You are ready to conceive or give birth and pregnancy is not forthcoming, it becomes something to worry about, and finding the cause and possible solution is paramount. The joy of motherhood, conceiving and carrying your own baby, is what almost every woman craves.
There are many reasons why a woman of reproductive age would find it difficult to get pregnant. These reasons differ among individuals, depending on your body mechanism. Apparently, most people don’t get pregnant at their first attempt. Whether this is your first attempt at conceiving or you’re beginning to count months of futile efforts, be aware that there are some infertility mysteries that could cause havoc to pregnancy. Below are some that may be stopping you from getting pregnant.
This can be as a result of undue pressure on the body which then causes internal tension. Stress causes the body to wear out. You burn out a lot of energy that could mediate the hormones in the body to be very active and perform their various functions in the body, both sexually and metabolically. It affects you emotionally, mentally, and physically, you can’t function under stress, your body too. Conception requires stability, for proper hormonal activities to take place.
“When you’re stressed, your adrenal system takes a hit. Your body isn’t going to say, ‘Okay, let’s get pregnant.’ Learning to say no and to take time for yourself is important for improving your chances of having a baby.” Says Via Bitidis, co-director of the North Toronto Naturopathic Clinic. The naturopathic doctor opines that balance and calm are a crucial part of trying to conceive.
Megan Karnis, medical director of The ONE Fertility Clinic in Burlington, Ont., agrees with a word of caution: “A lot of women think the best thing to do when you’re stressed is to take time off work. In my experience, that doesn’t help, because it makes a woman feel she has to get pregnant in that time, and then the stress to get pregnant is so much higher,” she says. Instead of altering your day-to-day routine entirely, Karnis recommends counseling, art therapy, meditation, and exercise to reduce stress levels.
2. Lack of Sleep
Sleep is the state of reduced consciousness during which a human or animal rests in a daily rhythm. It’s also an act of total body shut down for adequate rest. Inadequate sleep delays menstruation as a result of induced stress and will also alter your ovulation.
Some chemical substances stimulate sleep. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that stimulates sleep response, and if this is missing one could find it difficult to sleep well. Lack of sleep (or its inadequacy) induces stress which affects and weakens the immune system. This reduces the strength of the immune system to release antigens and antibodies that fight against infection or other foreign bodies that invade the body. It also limits the chances of getting pregnant.
Karnis adds that “This applies to men as well. Infections can cause fever and that excess heat can damage the sperm temporarily.” Furthermore, she said, “Women who don’t get enough sleep can also start to feel anxious, which may cause missed periods.”
Keeping yourself healthy is the baby bottom line, so set the PVR to record Mad Men and enforce a new bedtime.
3. Unstable Cycle
“A lot of women don’t understand their own cycles,” says Bitidis. Most people were taught the normal 28-day cycle in high school, but women are different and cycles differ in duration. You will find it easier to conceive if you observe your ovulation and have sex at the right time.
“We teach women that ovulation is two weeks before your period. Most people think that it’s two weeks after, but that’s only if you have a four-week cycle. The biggest thing is timing.
“We also teach people about sperm life—they can live for three days in the cervix, so you don’t have to have sex on the day of ovulation, it could be the day before. We also find that a lot of people don’t know that lubricant decreases sperm motility and transfer, so you shouldn’t use lubricant when you’re trying to get pregnant,” says Karnis.
4. Weight Problem
Weight can actually affect conception. Underweight or overweight individuals find it pretty difficult to get pregnant. “An undernourished body can cause a change in ovulation and alter ovulation.” Says Bitidis. “In the same vein, too much weight can have a great effect on fertility.”
“Just being over your ideal weight decreases your chance of getting pregnant even if you are ovulating regularly.” Says Karnis. “The further you stay above 25 on the Body Mass Index, the worse it gets,” Bitidis adds that maintaining a healthy diet and developing a reasonable exercise routine will do wonders for both your mind and body.
Planning for pregnancy in a year’s time might be a good decision if you’re preparing to raise a family soon. It could help you adjust your lifestyle. If you want to try it out now, note that it can take time. Experts say it takes up to a year to get pregnant, but If you are worried that it’s been long enough, speak to your healthcare personnel about your alternatives, for fertility counseling and treatment.
There are people who struggled and battled with pregnancy, but they eventually conceived when they calmed down and allowed it to come on its thought. Just have a positive thought, relax, and conception will take place. Most times pregnancy occurs when you least expect it, be sure to worry less.
If you want to have sex, do it right and the right number of times. Dr. Curtis recommends having intercourse every day or every other day during your most fertile period. Try to know your most fertile period and stick to it, more than that could exhaust your spouse’s sperm count. Less than that and you may miss that crucial fertility timing.
6. You Are Too Preoccupied
No matter what you do, pregnancy cannot be planned. Lots of women take about six months or more to have a regular cycle after they quit contraceptives. Ovulation would likely not take place until the cycle is normal or regular.
Pro Tip: Take some months to study and monitor your cycle, and note your ovulation. If there’s no ovulation, then seek medical attention. Conception becomes easier when you know your cycle.
ALSO, READ Ovulation Symptoms: 7 Signs of Ovulation
7. You Depend On the “Good Enough” Idea.
Thinking you are “good enough” will not help you get pregnant.
Can you monitor and understand your ovulation? It will be difficult to conceive if you can’t because some women have their ovulation in their mid-cycle. Cycles are peculiar to every woman. Some have 21 days, 28 days, and others as far as 31.
A lot of women ovulate 14 days before their periods, for instance, if you have a 24-day cycle, ovulation would be within day 10. If you have irregular periods or you can’t remember the last time you menstruated, this info can be quite confusing for you.
Another regular mistake is not counting from the first day of your cycle. The first day of menstruation is the day you start bleeding –not the second or previous day. Fertility can come down to hours, you should know the accurate timing of your cycle.
Dr. Curtis suggests using ovulation predictor kits, available over the counter. Keeping a calendar to track your cycle can be helpful. Using an online ovulation predictor or a mobile phone app works too.
8. Turning Blind Eyes to Your Worries
Settle down and resolve any health challenge before you try to conceive. You might be concerned about your constant irregular cycle or ovulation issues. You may have diabetes or other health challenges. It’s ok to be worried, more importantly, don’t try to ignore those worries. You should put everything in check before trying to get pregnant. Seek medical attention from your doctor.
9. Keeping an Unhealthy Lifestyle
A lot of women expose themselves to risk factors, especially ones that promote infertility; alcohol, smoke, drugs. The early stage of pregnancy is a very sensitive period of foetus development and you have to be mindful of what you consume. When it comes to alcohol, smoking and drugs behave as if you are already pregnant, because they are dangerous for you and impede conception.
Conception needs a sperm and an egg; If you don’t ovulate you can’t conceive. Anovulation is always an issue for conception, it can be stimulated by changes, conditions, and hormones.
Posterior Capsular Opacifations (PCOs) is one cause of anovulation. Others could be underweight or overweight, thyroid dysfunction, primary ovarian insufficiency, excessive exercise, and hyperprolactinemia.
Many women suffering from ovulation problems always have an irregular cycle. Nevertheless, a regular period does not guarantee ovulation. If you are having irregular cycles, see a doctor immediately for medical advice.
11. Too Quick to Move Out
There is a scientific and anecdotal backing here. You do not need to rush to the bathroom to wash off or douche; it’s better to lie flat on the bed, hips elevated, within 20 to 30 minutes after sexual intercourse to allow the sperm to go in well. This can be a remedy to about 80% of infertility issues.
Although douching might seem like a natural next level in your pregnancy making procedure, it’s obviously not nice. Douches can act as a spermicide, changing the PH of your vagina. “This has been shown to impair fertility,” Dr. Curtis says.
12. You Are Not Trying Long Enough
The question of how long have you tried, maybe a factor. For some, conception comes easy, but most women don’t conceive as easy as it is pronounced — it may take a longer process before conception can occur. You might want to check how long and consistent you have been. It could be that you really have not done much.
Close to 80% of women conceive after 6 months of trying, about 90% get pregnant in 12 months of trying to conceive. This can occur if you have a well-timed and planned intercourse monthly.
13. Your Man Is the Problem
Women are to conceive but it takes two to make it work, yeah? 20 or 30% of couples having fertility problems, notice fertility issues in the man, while 40% discover infertility in both couples.
One Important thing to note is that male infertility is usually asymptomatic; they rarely show symptoms of any underlying conditions. Without analyzing the semen, a test that checks or measures the quality and quantity of semen and sperm, one would not know there’s a problem. If you are seeing a doctor, make sure the both of you are properly tested.
14. Age-Related Infertility
Age affects fertility too. For women above 35 and men above 40, it could take a longer time to conceive. Some think having regular and normal cycles means they are safe, but it’s far from the truth. Your age affects egg quality and quantity.
15. Underlying Medical Problems
Some underlying medical conditions. For instance, undiagnosed diabetes, hormonal changes or imbalance, or a thyroid imbalance could cause infertility. When it’s not properly comprehended, depression is likely to occur in infertility. Autoimmune diseases, like undiagnosed sexually-transmitted infections and lupus, can lead to infertility.
• Prolonged Untreated Infection
Infection is also one of the major causes of infertility. A prolonged infection destroys the endometrium and fallopian tubes, reducing your chances of conceiving. It affects both the man and the woman. In cases like this, early diagnosis and treatment help to prevent further damage and infertility.
• Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Ovulatory issues account for almost 25% of infertility in women. Others can be issues with uterine structural problems or endometriosis and blocked fallopian tubes.
The fallopian tubes happen to be the footpath between the uterus and ovaries. The fallopian tubes do not connect to the ovaries directly. The Sperm must swim up from the cervix, through the uterus, and then into the fallopian tubes.
When an egg is released from the ovaries, hair-like projections from the fallopian tube go close to the egg internally. Conception occurs in the fallopian tube, where the egg and sperm finally meet. If something stops the fallopian tubes from functioning very well, hindering the sperm and egg from meeting, you can’t conceive.
There are so many causes of blocked fallopian tubes. Most women with blocked fallopian tubes have pains in the pelvic region, others do not have or rarely have symptoms. Only fertility tests can ascertain for blocked fallopian tubes. An HSG is a special type of X-ray used to check if the fallopian tubes are opened. It can be requested by your Obstetrician or Gynecologist (OB/GYN).
• You Have Endometriosis
Endometriosis occurs when the endometrium-like tissue (a mucus membrane that lines the uterus) is found in other places outside the uterus. It has been evaluated that 59% of women with this medical condition will find it difficult to conceive.
The commonest symptoms of endometriosis are pelvic pains (besides menstruation), and painful period. Nevertheless, not all women that experience this majority discover it during their infertility checkup.
16. No Testing or Treatment
Most couples with infertility issues, delay testing and treatment. The majority sit back and wait for miracles to occur. This is a mistake because most causes of infertility worsen as the undiagnosed disease progresses. The earlier you discover the cause, the easier for fertility treatment to work for you and for you to conceive. If you have been trying to get pregnant for a year, please seek medical attention.
17. Unexplained Infertility
About 10 to 20% of couples find no cause for their infertility. Some doctors would attribute this to a lack of proper diagnosis. To them, there is no such thing as “unexplained” infertility.
The truth is, even if there is no explanation for your infertility, you should still take medication to boost your fertility rate and avoid things that could expose you to infertility.
18. You’re Blaming Yourself
When infertility issues surface, we normally ask if the woman is the cause. According to Dr. Curtis, “cases of infertility are about 40 percent male, 40 percent female, and 20 percent a combination of both partners.”
Often the expectant woman runs to see her doctor for medical diagnosis, which is the wrong ¬– diagnosis should be done on both couples. The truth is it takes a healthy couple an average of 6 months to one year before conception can take place.